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A ‘spark’ amid the pandemic: Rochester children’s activity center to open soon


ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX47) -- The massive space for Spark, the new children's activity center at Apache Mall, has come a long way from its barren concrete beginnings back in February.

Spark will have a soft opening on July 30. Like many organizations, its operations needed to change course due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The "test" opening will require people to make a reservation for the entire space, like for a birthday party or a private play date. Two-hour reservations will be available for a maximum of 30 people at time.

In early August, it will open to the general public with reservations for daily entry. Safety measures include frequent intensive cleaning, reduced capacity and a face mask requirement for people ages 2 and up.

"We are so excited. We think that the space has turned out just as we have envisioned it," Spark Director Beth Sherden said. "But of course, we want to do it with lots of thought and care for both our staff and visitors. We feel that we can do it, and we think that people are going to come in and be very comfortable and assured about how we're approaching things."

Spark has interactive stations for children including a climbing area, a water play station and a play cafe. Construction will conclude within the next two weeks on a makers' space and "little spark" area for younger children.

More information and updates can be found on the Spark website.

Megan Zemple

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